Monday, October 27, 2008

Behold, The Silver Surfer

Silver Surfer and Galactus from http://www.comicvine.com/silver-surfer/29-2502/

I have loved to read ever since I was very young. I first mastered One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, by Dr. Seuss, in the first grade and became completely hooked on reading.

I encountered comic books long before I could read. I had a few children's books, but comic books were much easier to come by. Older kids always had some laying around and comic books could be found at every drug store, 7-11 and all of the finer grocery stores.

I loved the pictures. The action packed illustrations told a story all by themselves. When I was able to put the words and the pictures together it made the experience so much richer. I could feel the action and sense the emotions of the characters in a way that even television could not match.

I would save my allowance up every week and hit the comic book racks. I knew what day the new issues would come out and I would eagerly give all my money up so that I could buy four comic books. I would run out of the store and search for a nice quiet place to devour every last page of the comics I bought. Balancing the desire to savor every word and image while simultaneously attempting to read as fast as I could, was a unique form of bliss.

All good things must come to an end, and in no time I would be finished with my new comics and plotting my next series of purchases. This went on for a quite a few years of my youth.

In December, 1979, I was 13 years old. My awkward teenage years had begun and I felt the normal isolation that sets in at that fun time of life. I was still reading my comic books, but I hid that piece of information from my friends who did not share my interest in such kid stuff. This was when the re-issue of the Origin of the Sliver Surfer series came out.


Fantasy Masterpieces Re-issue Number 1, from -http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/4/50784-3003-66593-1-fantasy-masterpieces_super.jpg
I had heard of the Silver Surfer before, but as a superhero, he was hard to figure out. He made very few appearances and he was kind of a loner.

Once, when I was going to a summer camp, my mom told a counselor that I was a loner. You know, in that way that adults speak in front of children like they are not present. There was no malice in what she said, only a desire for another adult to understand me.

I identified with this character. I couldn't resist this new comic book. I paid 75¢ for that comic, which was more costly than my normal 50¢ comic book. Soon after, I found my favorite superhero.

There are many reasons why I have been drawn to the Silver Surfer. What color is cooler than chrome? The Surfer can fly through the cosmos on a surfboard faster than the speed of light. And we should not forget that the Surfer can shoot cosmic rays from his hands. Awesome!

In 1987, I was a in college when Joe Satriani's disc Surfing with the Alien came out. It is safe to say that I may have listened to it a couple of times.

This is the cover art for Joe Satrini's Surfing with the Alien disc, from http://www.toppers-tap.com/images/az_1940_Surfing%20with%20the%20Alien_Joe%20Satriani.jpg

Marvel has a fairly complete biography of the Silver Surfer. Of course, Youtube has a video, or two (part 2 of the same episode) starring the Silver Surfer.

Perhaps it is clearer now why I would attempt to create such a costume for Halloween. It is not as appropriate as it might have been when I was younger, but it was a challenge. I like challenges- even if they make me look completely ridiculous.

My Silver Surfer costume has been in the works for over a year. It is now complete. I wore the costume Saturday to a neighbor's Halloween party, and even engaged in some Karaoke as the Surfer.

This is me in my Silver Surfer Costume.

My Mother-in-Law cut the face portion out of the silver Zentai suit, so I could breathe. I purchased silver running shoes, silver socks, and a silver mask. I also bought silver basketball shorts because the skin tight costume left nothing to the imagination. Amy was very pleased that I wore the shorts.

I made a large surf board out of cardboard (4 layers) and spray painted the entire thing silver. Then I purchased silver duct tape and taped the edges up so you don't see all of the layers of cardboard when looking at the board from the side.

The suit was very tight. It was almost like wearing a snug blood pressure cuff over your entire body. It was a very strange feeling. Another odd note- drinking while wearing a suit like this- is not a great idea. Going to the bathroom is not easy, or convenient, and it requires help to get into, and out of, the suit.

If you are not doing anything in particular on Halloween and you happen by my neighborhood, you might just see a silver guy walking around with a silver surfboard watching after some kids on their candy collection rounds. The highly reflective nature of silver is perfect for this Halloween duty...

1 comment:

MichaelNic said...

WOW! love the costume! ... and I now understand your fascination with the Silver Surfer. You‘ve been writing about it for weeks! :)

I was a comic junkie too!